The moment I’ve been waiting for finally arrived. Today I set foot onboard Riviera for the first time. I arrived in Genoa a bit jet-lagged, but that didn’t dampen my excitement. And Riviera certainly did not disappoint.
It’s been a frenzy of final preparations since I boarded the ship, but I did manage to capture a few photos. I’ve been sharing on the blog how excited I was to see the Grand Staircase, especially because above the staircase, Riviera has a custom-crafted Italian chandelier. Below you can see how brilliantly it glows; trust me, the photo still does not do it justice.
Here is the Lalique vase on the famous Cactus Table at the base of the Grand Staircase.
As excited as I was to see Riviera, I was even more excited to meet the officers, staff and crew. As I entered my suite, I was greeted by two familiar fellows – Vijay and Sandeep. They are members of our top-notch butler staff and always have a warm smile. My family has sailed with them before so it was great to see them aboard. They represent the heart and soul of this ship, and it is their commitment and dedication that have brought Riviera to life.
I cannot wait for all of our guests to have the experience that I did today of boarding Riviera for the first time and being welcomed by the Oceania Cruises family. However, you may not want to embarrass yourself as I did today when embarking. As I drove up the pier and got out of the car, I must have stood there for five solid minutes just staring at Riviera. I was simply reflecting on her beauty and on all that this team has accomplished. In his classic French accent, General Manager Thierry Tholon finally called from the gangway, “Are you joining us, or are you just going to watch us from the pier?” I realized I had stared a bit too long and made my way up the gangway.
I will continue to share stories and photos as we approach Riviera’s Christening Cruise and her momentous Maiden Voyage. I hope you’ll enjoy following the journey here on the blog, and please feel free to share your comments below.